independent

Thursday 17 April 2014

Mairead’s Irish family tried to convince her to leave Philpott

Bernadette Duffy, the sister of Mairead Philpott, with their father Jimmy outside Nottingham Crown Court

The Irish family of Mairead Philpott have spoken of how they tried to convince her to leave Mick Philpott prior to the fire which claimed six children’s lives.

Jennifer Lobban and Bernadette Duffy has revealed how they spent years trying to convince her to leave her husband and take her children to safety.

Mairead who was born in Ireland to a traveller family has been painted as a tragic figure during the course of the eight week manslaughter case which resulted in her being jailed for 17 years.

In an interview with BBC’s Panorama, the sisters told how Mairead was so desperately unhappy with her marriage to Philpott that she attempted suicide.

Jennifer Lobban told Panorama: 'We would try and get round there when he was doing the school run because we knew that he wouldn’t be in the house.

'We told her that we could go to the school, we could go now; go take the kids from school. We would get her out, but she just wouldn’t leave.'

Mick Philpott once allowed the eldest child, Duwayne, 13, to have a sleepover at Bernadette’s house.

Bernadette was shocked at the state the youngster was in.

She said: 'Mick said he hadn’t eaten for a week and I took him and my little boy out for a pizza.

'I had never seen a child eat so fast in my life.’

Mairead's father Jimmy Duffy told Panorama he still can’t comprehend that his daughter was responsible for six children’s deaths.

He said: 'It’s wrecking me inside, wrecking me... I bottle a lot up away from my kids... Some nights I sit for hours in the dark.'

The family have also dismissed Mairead’s claims in court that her father abused her as a child.

Police have confirmed the allegations were investigated at the time and found no evidence of any crime by Jimmy Duffy. They also said there are no plans to follow up Mairead’s courtroom claim.

Bernadette and Jennifer say it is not the first time their sister has made a false sex allegation. In court, Mairead told the jury she'd been raped on holiday as a teenager.

Her sister Jennifer says she was with her at the time of the alleged incident: 'I think it’s just one of the many lies she tells. She got caught sleeping with a married man for money and she said she was raped. Not only has she played a part in her children’s deaths. It just seems that she will do anything to get out of it.'

Despite the fact that they believe she is a victim of Mick Philpott, the sisters also can’t forgive her for not putting her children first.

“She is a victim of Mick. But at the end of the day, when it comes to your kids, she should have put them first. She should have put the kids first,” Jennifer said.

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